Devon Bird Sightings: Bird News from 1st–7th February 2020

Coronavirus - Devon Birds bird hides

During the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak the use of Devon Birds bird hides should be in line with Government guidelines to individuals on how to protect themselves.

Please follow NHS guidelines: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/

Thank you for your co-operation and stay safe.

Posted August 25th at 9:58 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News

Changes to Devon Bird Sightings

This page was initially set up to give a concise news summary of birds of interest seen in Devon. Anyone noting interesting species, passage and counts could post the details to inform other birders what was going on around the county. Photos could also be added for interest and to enliven the posts. It was accepted that because other wildlife was of interest, this would also appear especially when included in a birding post.

However, in the last year, more posts have been appearing purely on subjects other than birds. Whilst of interest to some observers, this is detracting from the aim of the pages, i.e. principally bird sightings.

Devon Birds has therefore taken the decision to require contributors of other wildlife to post this in the Other Wildlife subject. However it’s accepted that occasional, exceptional, other wildlife seen during a birding outing justifies inclusion in the bird sightings post. This should, however, be a minor part of the post.

Photos are often appearing as a gallery, or even acting as a personal photo blog, rather than of county-wide sightings of interest. Devon Birds has a Gallery which members and other birders are welcome to submit their often stunning photos to, for others to see. Many of these photos need not then appear on this page. From now on, only two photos per post will be accepted to help keep posts more concise.

Devon Birds very much welcomes posts that already meet these criteria and those that will continue to do so. It would also be great to widen the input from keen birders who currently don’t contribute, including some old friends who have dropped out. Hopefully the changes will encourage wider participation, so if you look at the site but don’t post, please consider doing so.

Our aim is to provide a concise daily news summary of bird sightings around Devon, and these changes should fulfil this goal.

Below is a summary of the changes:

  • Bird News (bird sightings of interest, with added occasional other wildlife) will be the default subject when visitors arrive at this page.
  • Other Wildlife posts therefore won’t initially be shown unless visitors click Other Wildlife under Subjects on the right-hand side.
  • Only two photos can now be submitted per post.
  • General bird photos should be posted in our Gallery please.
  • Co-authors should now only use the Submit a Blog Post form, to ensure a more consistent format for posts.

Posted August 21st at 3:53 pm in Bird News

2019 Descriptions - last call

The deadline for the 2019 Bird Report is rapidly approaching. If you found (or saw) any of these birds please could you submit a description to recorder@devonbirds.org to ensure your records are published. Many thanks. 

Alpine Swift, Dawlish 11 Jun  Long-tailed Skua, Dawlish Warren 11 Oct
Barred Warbler, Thurlestone 30 Aug Purple Heron, Slapton Ley 07 May
Caspian Gull, Thurlestone, 08 Feb Sabine's Gull, Thurlestone 14 Aug
Caspian Gull, Topsham 02 Aug Serin (2), Harrowbeer 19 Apr
Cory's Shearwater, Berry Head 19 Jul Tree Sparrow (2), Berry Head 20 Mar
Hooded Crow, Baggy Point 10 May  

 

Posted May 2nd at 3:27 pm by Kevin Rylands in Bird News

Membership

If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work.

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am in Bird News

Friday 7th February 2020

RPSB cruise from Topsham

LB Dowitcher seen just back from where the Clyst joins the Exe

Posted February 7th at 9:25 pm by G and L Carr in Bird News

Stuartline Cruise 7th February 2020

To start the Cruise the visitors were treated to a lone Grey Seal fishing off Pier Head. There were plenty of birds on show today for the visitors with good numbers of Brent Geese throughout the Estuary. Oystercatchers were in Good number to. We were hopeful to see the Red-Necked Grebe which has been on the estuary for the last 10 days but were unable to locate it however the Slavonian Grebe was on Show off Cockwood for all to see. Good numbers of Shelduck were seen along with 150+ Pintail off Lympstone. 20+ Red Breasted Mergansers were seen throughout from Dawlish Warren to Topsham. Several Great Crested Grebe were seen and 5 Goldeneye all were flying. The top end of the Estuary were full of birds with 200+ Avocets, 500+ Golden Plover 200+ Lapwing 400+ Black tailed Godwit with a few Bar tailed Godwit in a mixed flock with several hundred Dunlin with several Grey Plover scattered across the mud around Turf Lock. As usual Curlew and Redshank were in good numbers throughout the upper estuary. 

Posted February 7th at 8:01 pm by Derek Carter in Bird News

Velator

Goldcrest racing around to catch what it can before the storm? 3 Bullfinch - two of which - both males - were hanging on a peanut feeder. 1 Gadwall, one Moorhen and one Little Grebe - first sighting here since 9th November.

Outside near the scrape an Oystercatcher. Was I seeing things?

Posted February 7th at 7:46 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Fremington Pill

The Glossy Ibis is still around. This time it was near the old railway bridge.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Posted February 7th at 6:46 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Ringed Starling ~ South Brent

I know that many of our over wintering Starlings are from outside of the UK, this ringed one arrived at my garden feed station today from the images taken the ring reads in part (top line) ZOO.1 M (middle line)  LITH (bottom line) KH9.

I am guessing that the LITH would suggest Lithuania as a country of origin as far as it being ringed.

 

Posted February 7th at 5:43 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

River Dart

2 pairs of Mandarin ducks resting on the river bank, seen from the kayak, about 2 miles below Totnes.

Posted February 7th at 5:27 pm by Alun Sherwood in Bird News

Mansands

 

Wasn’t going to go to Mansands today, but remembered I had my WeBS count to do, glad I did.

Bluewinged Teal Mansands 070220PA Bluewinged Teal Mansands 070220PA

                                                          Blue-winged Teal

Posted February 7th at 2:08 pm by Paul Albrechtsen in Bird News

Bolt Tail

Best was Red-throated Diver going east; also Med Gull, 2 Kittiwakes, Fulmar, c.20 auks (one Razorbill at least)  and several Shags gathering nesting material.

Posted February 7th at 2:02 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Hawfinch

One Hawfinch seen at Haldon Forest, Left of pylon looking from road in clearing on the other side of the tree line. Several Crossbill and Siskin also 

Posted February 7th at 1:51 pm by Barry Rankine in Bird News

Starcross

A trip up to Starcross yesterday saw a large flock of Brent Geese fly in and land on the estuary, not long after they moved to the adjacent field. Whilst watching the Brant/Brent geese two Egyptian Geese flew over and landed in the next field.

Black Brant/Brent GeeseEgyptian Goose
Brent Geese                              Egyptian Goose

Posted February 7th at 9:16 am by Duncan Leitch in Bird News

Thursday 6th February 2020

Braunton Marshes

When arriving at the Toll House on the bike my attention was focused skyward on a murmuration of starlings forming a ball shape (like a fish ball) to escape a hunting Peregrine. Near the White House I was photographing a Great tit when a sudden gust of wind passed very close to my right shoulder. A female Sparrowhawk landed on a branch only 2 metres in front of me, the great tit escaped!

  

Posted February 6th at 9:43 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Baggy Point

Out at Baggy Point this afternoon (6 February) seen in addition to the Cormorant sporting a white/silver ring, a Dunnock, and a male Stonechat were two Stock Doves, two Kestrels, six Rock Pipits and a number of other seabirds.

KestrelStock DoveCropped image of the leading bird.
Kestrel                                       Feral Dove               Cropped image of the leading bird.

Eds: These are Feral Doves/Pigeons Stock Dove lack white in all of the upper parts and wings.

Posted February 6th at 8:54 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Baggy Point

Out at Baggy Point this afternoon (6 February) no sign of the Diver reported by Rob Jutsum. Cormorant sporting a white/silver ring _too far away to read details, a Dunnock, two Stock Doves, two Kestrels, six Rock Pipits and a male Stonechat.

Cormorant with ringDunnockStoneschat
Cormorant with ring          Dunnock                        Stoneschat

Posted February 6th at 8:46 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Tarka Trail

Thrilled to watch, at close range, a pair of smart dippers busy gathering moss beside the Torridge, about 100 yards Torrington side of the Watergate Bridge layby.  Next time I won't leave the camera in the car.  Also a red admiral enjoying the winter sunshine at RHS Rosemoor.  Birds very active there on the feeders, including coal, great, blue and long-tailed tits and scores of chaffinches.  Greenfinch and goldfinches heard, a goldcrest fidgetting in a cherry tree, and a song thrush tuning up in full view on top of a yew hedge.

Posted February 6th at 7:47 pm by Hilary Vivian in Bird News

Mansands yesterday

Photos of the Blue-winged teal taken yesterday afternoon. It's amazing how quickly this bird has moulted into near-adult plumage - compare with the picture posted on DBS by Pete Aley on 3rd January.

Blue-winged teal  Blue-winged teal
Blue-winged teal                               Blue-winged teal

Posted February 6th at 7:36 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Fingle Bridge, N.Dartmoor

24 members of DB attended the East Devon Branch fieldtrip to the Teign Valley today and took the north path up river to the footbridge and then the high walk below Castle Drogo.  The path on the southern bank was closed due to repair work but this is due to open again in the next day or so.

The main birds of interest came from Dipper, Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Buzzard, Raven, Mistle Thrush, Sparrow Hawk and Goosander.   Several species were seen in multiple numbers.  An informal count of 21 species was made for the day (which meant there were more of us than bird species) but an enjoyable day was nevertheless had. 

Posted February 6th at 5:48 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in Bird News

South Brent / Bittaford

Five very noisy and raucous Jays at home first thing this morning, the garden feed station was busy throughout the day at one point a count of 24 House Sparrow, numerous Chaffinch, others included Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch M&F, Nuthatch, Dunnock, Long Tailed Tit, Pied Wagtail, Starling and the "Italian Sparrow sp", later in the afternoon a small flock of Redwing in the field hedge, all birds being flushed when a female Sparrowhawk came through.

A mid morning walk along the Red Lake (Puffing Billy) track above Bittaford gave small numbers of Meadow Pipit and Skylark, singles of Blackbird, Stonechat and Redwing, highlight of the walk was a female Merlin.

Italian Sparrow sp

Posted February 6th at 4:51 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Emsworthy Mire

Nice flock of around 50 Fieldfare this morning, with just 2 Redwings.

Posted February 6th at 11:59 am by Nick Potter in Bird News

Climate change or what?

Apologies, but in my eagerness to report the Wilson's Phalarope yesterday, I omitted another quite extraordinary sighting.

At Bowling Green Marsh between 08.45 and 9 o'clock a single SWALLOW flew over.

Posted February 6th at 10:22 am by Francis Welland in Bird News

Stover Lake

This is the mystery duck seen on Stover lake yesterday.  It might be an escapee domesticated duck. Larger the a Mallard but smaller that a shelduck. I forgot to attach the image and send it with the others that were sent yesterday. I also did some Googling regarding the Chaffinch and found something called Scaly Leg Mites.

Any ideas?     This could be a "Scaly Leg Mite" condition.
Any ideas? Eds: Muscovy X                      This could be a "Scaly Leg Mite" condition.

Posted February 6th at 9:33 am by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wanted: early rising Goosander counter on north Dartmoor

25 Goosanders at Tamar Lakes yesterday, 11 at Avon Dam and three at Stover, but how many in Devon as a whole? Hopefully the synchronised dawn roost count on Saturday (8th) will reveal all, but we need one more counter to cover either Meldon or Fernworthy on Dartmoor. If you can help (and get to site no later than 7 am) please get in touch with me on  peter.p.j.reay@btinternet.com asap.

Posted February 6th at 9:01 am by Peter Reay in Bird News

Wednesday 5th February 2020

Stover Lake

4 Roosting Cormorants in a tree, Record shot of a M/F Goosander,  six or more Male and Female Tufted duck and many of the usual suspects, coots, Moorhens and a couple of Swans

Cormorants RoostingMale Tufted duckRecord shot of male and female Goosander
Cormorants Roosting                 Male Tufted duck                     Record shot of male and female Goosander

Posted February 5th at 10:32 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Stover Lake

Got a couple of photos of a M/F Chaffinch with leg problems. And a quick shot of an unknown duck. 

Female Chaffinch with leg problems    Male Chaffinch with leg problems
Female Chaffinch with leg problems     Male Chaffinch with leg problems

Posted February 5th at 10:19 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Mansands

The Blue-winged teal showed well early afternoon in the main pool. Also present, mallard, gadwall, teal, tufted duck, moorhen, coot, and singing cettis warbler. A black redstart was on the coastguard cottage roof with pied and grey wagtail, and a chiffchaff.

Posted February 5th at 10:14 pm by Chris Proctor in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

This morning on the lake,

25 Goosander 9m 16f, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Willow Tit, 6 Tufted Duck.

Posted February 5th at 7:14 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Exminster Marsh

An adult Spoonbill on Exminster Marsh for most of the day today viewable distantly from canal bank by car park 

Posted February 5th at 6:26 pm by Mark Bailey in Bird News

Berry Head

Cliff full of guillemots at lunchtime - until some idiot abseiled directly down the middle of the colony! Tried to report via cafe but all rangers etc unobtainable. 

Posted February 5th at 5:58 pm by Andy Rook in Bird News

Wilson's Phalarope

Birding around the Exe today with a fellow birder. Both of us 100% certain ….Wilson's Phalarope.

Viewed in the estuary at around 11am from the Powderham platform (over the railway) where the Kenn runs into the Exe. Excellent viewing conditions, sunny and flat calm, and seen for a couple of minutes moving upstream.

Posted February 5th at 5:24 pm by Francis Welland in Bird News

N Devon

Amongst a few birds ringed in the reserve this morning were a Chiffchaff (that's 36 this winter since mid-October) and 2 Reed Buntings - another seen.

To add to Rob's sightings at Baggy Point this afternoon, 5 Stonechat, one harbour Porpoise, as well as a Grey Seal - which was feeding on something large and attracting a few Gulls - south of the point -  a very calm sea making observation so much easier.

Posted February 5th at 5:12 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm

Final farmland bird count of the winter with Skylarks down by two-thirds to 360, most gone back to the moors? Also: 84 Yellowhammer, 29 Cirl Bunting, 29 Pheasant, 33 Stock Dove, 230 Jackdaw, 130 Rook, 100 Carrion Crow,16 Meadow Pipit, 10 Song Thrush, 80 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch and the first migrant a Mistle Thrush flying high north over the valley - does not breed here!

Posted February 5th at 4:46 pm by Rob Macklin in Bird News

Darts Farm to Topsham

At least 5 Pintail pairs, 6 Avocet from the Goat Walk. 5 pairs Shoveler could be more, 2Snipe and so many waders on the incoming tide that were very hard to see on a low sun. 

Posted February 5th at 4:15 pm by John Elvin in Bird News

Baggy Point

early am:- On arrival 3 Red throated Divers + 1 Atlantic Grey Seal.

After searching the surface of the sea we could only find 3 Common Scoters. Several Meadow & Rock Pipits about & one or two skylark singing.



Posted February 5th at 12:56 pm by Rob Jutsum in Bird News

Stover Lake

2 male and 1 female Goosander on the lake this morning.

Posted February 5th at 12:27 pm by Nick Potter in Bird News

Tuesday 4th February 2020

Meeth Quarry

10.30 am 3 Red-creasted Pochard 2M 1F on Woolladon lake and 1M Ring-necked duck from bird hide on Stockleigh lake

Posted February 4th at 4:50 pm by Lynn Noble in Bird News

Radford Lake 04-02-20

Female kingfisher showing very well, a possible sinesis Cormorant, Greenshank, Little Grebes, and a Sparrow hawk above

     

Posted February 4th at 11:53 am by Greg Bradbury in Bird News

Monday 3rd February 2020

Mandarin at Arlington

I am the chap who spotted the Mandarin at Arlington yesterday Sunday 2nd Feb. First spotted as I entered the again on adjoining lake approx40 mins later.

Posted February 3rd at 7:13 pm by Les Doughty in Bird News

Wrafton etc

3 Red-crested Pochard again, plus drake Pochard, female Goldeneye and a pair of Gadwall along with 50+ Black-headed Gulls on Wrafton Pond this morning. A Dipper in the river. Out on the scrape 2 Swans and 2 Canada Geese (same as yesterday) - both Geese have rings on, so they are the local pair.

In the reserve singing Song Thrush, Great Tit, Cetti's Warbler and Wren. The geese then landed on the pond, did a few circuits and departed. Then the Swans did the same thing. Water Rail seen well.

Posted February 3rd at 4:37 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Brixham - Gillard Road Berry Head

The flock of buntings just out side of the Brixham town at Gillard Road is doing very well in the bird cover crop planted near to the new campsite and playing fields. On Sunday there were:

50+ Yellowhammers, 11 or more Cirl Buntings 18 Chaffinches, 8 Goldfinches and several House Sparrows.

 

Posted February 3rd at 3:48 pm by Mike Langman in Bird News

West Clyst

A female Black Redstart present on rooftops at the end of Hawkins Road, just past the entrance to Houghton Grove at West Clyst near Pinhoe. 1240hrs.

Posted February 3rd at 1:12 pm by Terry Smith in Bird News

Sunday 2nd February 2020

Mansands

Blue-winged Teal showed well first thing. Female Black Redstart by the coastguard cottages. 

Blue-winged Teal   Black Redstart
Blue-winged Teal                                                        Black Redstart

Posted February 2nd at 9:16 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Mandarin Duck, Arlington?

Can anyone confirm a sighting of a mandarin duck on the lake at Arlington Court today. I met a chap there who said he had seen one but I couldn't find it.

Posted February 2nd at 8:24 pm by alan craddock in Bird News

Lower Tamar Lake

3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1m Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorant, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Great Crested Grebe,1 Little Grebe.

Posted February 2nd at 8:08 pm by Rod Mudge in Bird News

Hope's Nose

14.50-16.50

A GND and a Razorbill in Hope Cove.  Male Blackcap close to the entrance gate and at least two more calling from deep cover.  2 Goldcrests.  8 Grey Seals and 2 Harbour Porpoises. 

Posted February 2nd at 7:28 pm by Paul Darlington in Bird News

roadford reservoir

from the viaduct looking north,  the scaup was showing well with three golden eye and tufted ducks, from the other side of the viaduct, a barnacle goose and a snow goose  in with the canada geese .

Posted February 2nd at 4:23 pm by roger jewell in Bird News

Shaugh Lake Quarry

Quick trip this afternoon around Lee Moor Quarry turned up a group of around 13 Tufted Ducks with 1 solitary Female Pochard amongst them, 5 Teal, a couple of Little Grebes and also 1 Coot and 1 Moorhen, two birds i have never seen down in the quarry before.

Posted February 2nd at 4:12 pm by Duncan Leitch in Bird News

Wrafton etc.

3 Red-crested Pochard again this morning plus a drake Pochard.

On the scrape loads of Black-headed Gulls, a pair each of Mute Swan and Canada Geese - couldn't be sure they had rings on, but could be the local breeding pair from the reserve. Also 4 Little Egrets.

In the reserve, 30+ Goldfinch, and a Chiffchaff.

Also of note, a Grey Heron just downstream of the Tesco bridge, right in under the trees.

Posted February 2nd at 2:06 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News

Torbay Boat Trip

This mornings boat trip from Brixham into Torbay Bay was a fairly good trip with the following birds sighted. 8 Great Northern Diver, 20+ Fulmar, Kittiwake, many Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull and Gannets, 1 Razorbill, 500+ Guillemots on cliffs and in the Bay, 2 Raven and 7 Purple Sandpipers. 2 Grey Seals and 2 Porpoise.  If interested in further trips call Dave on 07970642354.

Posted February 2nd at 1:27 pm by Nigel Smallbones in Bird News

Saturday 1st February 2020

Fremington

Moving on to Fremington Pill, I met a lovely group of birders who are touring the country to increase their bird count. I spotted a Kingfisher, Little Egret, some cattle Egrets, Redshanks a Spotted Redshank, Glossy Ibis, some m & f Teal and half a dozen Shelduck. 

Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Greenshank? and RedshankSpotted RedshankGreenshank maybe?
Glossy Ibis, Little Egret, Greenshank and Redshank        Spotted Redshank         Greenshank

Posted February 1st at 11:34 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Wrafton Pond

Again at Wrafton Pond this morning I met fellow birders and spent some time with them photographing the Red crested Pochard, the female Goldeneye, Snipe and a single Little Egret.

Red crested PochardSeven SnipeLittle Egret in the field adjacent to Wrafton Pond
Red crested Pochard                    Seven Snipe           Little Egret in the field adjacent to Wrafton Pond

Posted February 1st at 11:05 pm by Martin Bennett in Bird News

Roadford Lake

Male Greater Scaup with Tufted flock. Viewed from the viaduct. At least 4 Goldeneye also around. 

Greater Scaup and Tufted Ducks  Greater Scaup and Tufted Ducks  Male Goldeneye
Greater Scaup and Tufted Ducks             Greater Scaup and Tufted Ducks                Male Goldeneye

Posted February 1st at 5:00 pm by Chris E in Bird News

Mansands & Broadsands

Mansands ~ The Blue Winged Teal seen briefly as it disappeared into the reed bed at the bottom end of the marsh, other duck species included Teal, Gadwall (4) Tufted and Mallard. Snipe (3) numerous Moorhen and several Coot, Water Rail calling as was more than one Cetti’s Warbler. Raven overhead, two soaring Buzzard, a Skylark singing in the distance.

Out at sea five Great Crested Grebe.

Around the Coastguard cottages a female Black Redstart, Grey and Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Wren, Dunnock and a Tortoiseshell butterfly

Around the hide feeders, five Bullfinch 4M & 1F and a fly past Goldcrest.

Windy Corner ~ Kestrel.

Broadsands ~ Cirl Bunting and a Firecrest in the car parks, on the beach marsh one and possibly two Siberian Chiffchaff, one showing really well and the other just flew through, one Reed Bunting and three Wren, Raven overhead.

A385 Longcombe three soaring Buzzard.

Back home at South Brent a flock of 42 plus Redwing, the “Italian” Sparrow sp on the garden feeders.

Posted February 1st at 4:53 pm by Steve Hopper in Bird News

Plym estuary / Saltram

This morning's high tide roost:  292 Dunlin, 202 Redshank, 180 Herring Gull, 53 Curlew, 34 Shelduck, 13 Wigeon (6m, 7f), 13 Common gull, 7 Little Egret, 6 Grey Heron, 5 Cormorant with white breeding patch, 3 Greenshank.

On the river:  8 Goosander (4m, 4f), 4 Red Breasted Merganser (2m, 2f), 3 Little Grebe, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Common Sandpiper.  Around Saltram:  4 Ring Necked Parakeet, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Posted February 1st at 2:26 pm by Alan Livsey in Bird News

Mansands And Broadsands Fri 31st Jan

The Blue-winged Teal 1st wint Male, showed well for an hour from 10am. Also 17 Teal, 4 Gadwall and 3 Snipe there. At Broadsands one Great Northern Diver, and 8 Cirl Buntings and a male Yellowhammer on seed. Later in day a quick look at Cockwood steps with 29 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Goldeneye (m & f).

Posted February 1st at 7:38 am by Steve Cox in Bird News

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